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hey there! I'm monica 

I pride myself on making amazing style and design accessible for everyone, regardless of location, budget, or ability! My design philosophy is rooted in authenticity + attainability - If I can do it, you can too! My work has been featured in countless publications, but I take the most pride in homeowners that have been personally inspired by my DIY ideas and have tried something in their own homes!

learn more about ME + MY BIZ

Ok, we all know that the reason we love DIY and home decor blogs is that we can legitimately snoop in other people’s houses. Seriously, you know it’s true. Well, I’m here to please, folks, so I’m going to give you a little glimpse into the house where my family (parents, both sisters and their families, and my fam) stayed the last week. We have this awesome tradition of spending a week together on vacation every year and we always go somewhere new. This year, my dad found this gorgeous house called “Old Wintersell” right outside of the adorable little town of Oxford, which is situated on the Chesapeake in Maryland. We’ve been to a lot of places, but this spot was definitely in my top 5 locations. Let me show you why:

This beautiful old house was built in 1845 and sits on a sprawling 14 acres. It was impeccably maintained and obviously nicely updated. Just in case you were wondering, here’s the aerial view of the house (taken from the home’s website– you can see lots more pictures there. This house is for sale, too!)
Old Wintersell
The kitchen was well-appointed and had everything we needed!
Loved these decorative spheres (I would have said balls, but that just didn’t sound quite right)
The butler’s pantry was so big that I couldn’t get it all in one shot. On the left was a desk and bookshelves, stocked with loads of Bon Appetit magazines, and on the right was the coffee station and plenty of pantry space.
The kitchen opened into the main living area, where we spent most of our evenings hanging out.
 This trunk-turned-coffee-table was a fun piece that added a lot of character to the room.
The bathroom off of the kitchen was very dark and stately-the gold framed mirror was a show-stopper!
My favorite feature of the house was this enclosed all-weather sun porch. It overlooked the yard and the water in the distance, and had a gorgeous brick floor and several seating areas. It was light and airy and very long. This space had to be close to fifty feet long!
I loved the sunny mudroom, which had a long bench along one side that was rustic and perfect and an awesome shelf with drawers on the other side. I’m thinking that shelf might be a DIY project calling my name!
I didn’t take many pictures of the bedrooms (I tried not to spend my every waking minute taking pictures of just the house!), but this bedroom my sister and brother-in-law stayed in was so peaceful and calm. Plus, that fabric headboard was really cute!
This was their view….not bad, huh? 😉
I never would have thought to hang plates in a bathroom, but they look so sweet above the beadboard. And, that vanity with it’s marble top is looking mighty fine, as well.
Now, on to the outside:
We had so much fun kayaking, crabbing, and riding the boat off of this dock. There’s nothing like getting up early and walking right down to the water. Love that.
Old Wintersell
The pool was wonderful, but the fence didn’t go all the way around, which made for a few nervous moms. But, we spent a good amount of time in that thing, so I can’t really complain.
The back of the house and the yard were perfection to me. It felt like I was kind of living in a movie or something. The evenings were absolutely perfect: the kids played in the yard while my parents watched from their adirondack chairs and my husband and brothers-in-law check the crab traps. Just lovely.
Oh, and the flowers….
The Chesapeake is only a 3 hour drive from our house and I highly recommend it as a weekend getaway or a week-long vacation, like we had. It’s quiet, peaceful and quaint. It almost feels New England-like, but is a only a short drive away. St. Michaels offers lots of cute shops and good restaurants, and Oxford has the BEST icecream place on the Eastern Shore: Scottish Highland Creamery. If you go down to Oxford, stopping there is a must.
There’s nothing I enjoy more than family vacation and being on the water. Combine the two and you have one pretty amazing time.
Can you tell we loved it?
 What’s your favorite vacation destination?
We’re always on the lookout for our next one!

The comments +

  1. Meghan B. says:

    We rented this house 2 summers ago and had so much fun! Happy to see other families enjoying it as much as we did 🙂

  2. AWESOME!!! We lived in Cambridge, MD for 5 years before we moved there. Only about 30 minutes from Oxford. We LOVE the Eastern Shore. So glad you guys did, too. 🙂

  3. Danielle says:


    I was so surprised seeing Oxford pop up in the subject line of your post (:…I live in Easton, MD (less than 15 minutes from Oxford). I just started following your blog recently thanks to finding you on Pinterest (:

    I’m a Realtor and I have always loved this house. My sister in law owns Eastern Shore Vacation Rentals. She’ll be happy to know you enjoyed your stay. Hope you’ll come back and stay again! Let me know if you need anything or any tips on what to do or where to stay the next time you visit.

    Danielle Mangold
    Benson & Mangold Real Estate

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  5. Christina says:

    beautiful! Looks like you guys had a great time – that dock is beautiful 🙂 You guys look so happy in your family picture!!

  6. Anonymous says:

    Jess – Just read this and as you may remember, I reached out to you earlier this spring because we were in the same maternity class at GVH in 2008. This post is a coincidence because I am from MD and we go almost every weekend to this area! It’s a great place to visit and for kids to be exposed to crabbing, and other water activities. Love following this blog!

    Megan Snyder

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